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James D. Guest, M.D., Ph.D.

General Information

James D. Guest, M.D., Ph.D.


  • Neurological Surgery



Clinical Areas

Spinal cord injury, central pain, cervical radiculopathy, back pain


  • American Board of Neurological Surgery

Research Interests

Cellular therapy for spinal cord injury, biology of neuroglia, impairment and restoration of hand function, mechanisms of secondary injury, hypothermia.


  • Guest J, Biological strategies for CNS repair, In: Youmans Neurological Surgery, Winn H, Youmans J, Becker D eds., Saunders Press, 2008/9 Submitted.
  • Guest J, Dietrich W: Therapeutic hypothermia following spinal cord trauma and ischemia in Tisherman S, Stertz F (eds): Therapeutic Hypothermia (Molecular and Cellular Biology of Critical Care Medicine), ed First. New York : Springer, p 1010-119.
  • Guest J: Biological strategies for CNS repair, in Winn H, Youmans J, Becker D (eds): Youmans neurological surgery. Philadelphia : Saunders, Vol 4, pp 4153-4179.
  • Guest J, Deafferentation pain, In: Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, Second Edition, Adelman G, Smith BH eds., New York Elsevier, 737-740.
  • Guest J, Spinal cord transection, In: Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, Second Edition, Adelman G, Smith BHS, eds., New York Elsevier, 354-358.
  • Sonntag V, Guest J: Patient Selection and Timing of Surgery, in Tator C, Benzel E (eds): Contemporary Management of Spinal Cord Injury: From Impact to Rehabilitation. Park Ridge, Illinois : American Association of Neurological Surgery, p 109-123.
  • Zwimpfer T, and Guest J, Grafting of peripheral nerves and Schwann cells in the CNS to support axonal regeneration, In: Modern Techniques in Neuroscience Research, Windhorst U, Johansson H eds., Springer Press, 397-406.


Who's Who in America
Outstanding Scientists of the 21st Century
Board of Directors
Scientific Commitee


1998 Residency
University of British Columbia
1998 Fellowship
Barrow Neurologic Institute
1996 Ph.D.
1989 Graduate
University of Alberta
1985 Undergraduate
University of Alberta


Dr. Guest has pursued treatment of spinal cord injury and disease for more than 15 years. He is extensively involved in national and international spinal cord injury research communities, employing his clinical and basic science knowledge in several arenas. He serves on the scientific committees of highly respected organizations such as the International Spinal Research Trust, the International Campaign for Cures of Spinal Cord Injury Paralysis, and the American Spinal Injury Association, and he recently completed a five year term as co-chair of the AANS/CNS Joint Section Spine and Peripheral Nerves Research Committee. In December, 2005, he was invited to speak and to chair a discussion group at the First International Spinal Cord Injury Treatments and Trials Symposium in Hong Kong. He has given a total of 24 invited lectures in the and abroad, and has authored over 70 peer reviewed publications, including articles, book chapters and abstracts. Currently, he is acquiring expertise in the area of spinal cord injury clinical trials.

Cervical spinal cord injury and pathology, and the management of spinal pain are his main clinical interests. Although he has several years of surgical experience, he seeks to move toward less invasive procedures, whenever possible, in his practice. This interest has allowed Dr. Guest to work in partnership with medical professionals in the development of new experimental techniques and technology, and he currently holds a patent for percutaneous endoscope transplantation into the spinal cord.

Dr. Guest truly esteems the stimulating scientific atmosphere at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, where he has mentored 12 research students and fellows, and has benefited from ongoing interactions with the glial cell transplantation group. He is a faculty member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program. He finds teaching and scientific collaboration very rewarding. At the Miami Project, he seeks to integrate his clinical interests with his research. Over the last three to four years his lab group has worked on a cervical spinal cord injury model, in which hand dexterity is permanently impaired. This model may now serve as a platform to test regeneration and plasticity promoting therapies to determine if the next step, to clinical application, is warranted. 


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